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Yeah, Louie, I've heard this story so many times, too.

From you. From your fellow partisan lawmakers and your pet media mouths. From posters on grocery store boards. From crotchety old men talking to reporters. From more anonymous posters on benefit complaint boards.

And it's nearly always once-removed. "A constituent told me." "A friend of mine saw." "Just last week, I read a story."

You know, I read something recently, too, something that might make you think about changing the details of your anecdote when you try to justify taking food from the mouths of children:

Nobody buys crab legs.

Okay, somebody does. The average American actually eats a half-pound of the ugly things every year. Since that is an actual, measurable portion of the literal ton of food that average citizen consumes in a trip 'round the sun, it can't be said that nobody eats them.

Since that half-pound of crab legs is buried somewhere in the 200 pounds of meat and quarter-ton of milk and cheese our average fellow citizen shoves down the pie hole (pie, 20 pounds, btw), somebody's enjoying those delicious crab legs.

But I'll bet a pound of 'em it's not food stamp recipients. Because nobody, not even someone getting something "for free," is going to spend a third of their monthly food budget on one item, whether it's crab legs or caviar or coffee shat from civet cats. Even the most lavishly pampered poor person (which is, of course, what food stamp recipients are, right?) knows that, if experience is any guide, he's going to be hungry again tomorrow. Amazing how much sauce that adds to the store brand mac and cheese.

So, Louie. My man. It's time to come clean. America wants to meet this shopper so stupid as to blow a week and a half's budget on one item in one meal for one day. We want his name, his town, at the very least the name and location of the store where he shops.

We want to meet this fella, so we can laugh in his face and call him the damn fool and cheat and liar he is.

Unless, of course, that would be you.

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